Senior forward Aliyah Boston shined Friday night as the No.1 ranked South Carolina women’s basketball team defeated No.17 Maryland 81-56.
Boston had a near-perfect game from the field, shooting 7-8. She had a double-double with 16 points and 13 rebounds while adding two assists and a block.
Three other Gamecocks scored double figures in the game. Senior guard Zia Cooke led all Gamecocks with 18 points, junior center Kamilla Cardoso scored 13 and senior forward Laeticia Amihere had 10.
For Maryland, senior guard Abby Meyers scored a game-high 21 points. 16 of those points came in the first half. In the second, the Gamecocks found a way to slow her down.
"We got back in transition a little bit better, and we just tried to make it really hard for her," head coach Dawn Staley said. "Obviously she had her way in the first half, and we had to do something to just slow her down."
South Carolina dominated Maryland on the glass throughout the game. At halftime, the Gamecocks were outrebounding the Terrapins 30-19. By the end of the game, South Carolina extended that advantage to 55-32.
Offensive rebounds and second-chance points were key to the win. The Gamecocks grabbed 18 offensive rebounds for 18 second-chance points. Maryland had just seven second-chance points.
"Rebounding is what we do. That is who we are," Staley said. "That creates separation for us."
South Carolina’s mistakes kept Maryland competitive, especially in the first half. South Carolina committed 20 turnovers in the game, and Maryland capitalized off those mistakes for 11 points.
In the second quarter, the Gamecocks’ offense went ice cold, shooting 21.1% in the quarter. The team struggled to score inside, making just one shot that wasn’t a three, and ended the quarter 1-11 from the floor for more than a three-minute scoring drought.
The team improved in the second half, and at the end of the third quarter, South Carolina led by 19 points.
"We figured out some extra passes, extra ball movement, making sure that we're crashing the boards. I think we used that to our advantage tonight," Boston said.
The team built on its lead the rest of the way and coasted to the finish. Despite the game slipping away, Maryland continued to play physically, leading to some chippy altercations in the third quarter.
"The energy is high on both sides. The crowd was feeding into it, but we just need to understand that we need to open up the game," Boston said.
With the win, the Gamecocks improved to 2-0 on the year and captured its first win against a ranked opponent this season.
The team will play its second game of a four-game road trip Thursday, Nov. 17 against in-state rival Clemson at 6 p.m. on the ACC network.